JDRF youth ambassador explains how donations for Type 1 diabetes changed his life

The JDRF One Walk is just days away. You can help make a difference in the lives of those living with Type 1 diabetes.

Jonathan Engegretson, a local youth ambassador for the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation, says the donations raised from the walk really do change lives.

"My life is just going to be completely ruined!" is what he thought when he was first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes about six years ago.

His mother, Allison Engebretson, remembers the doctor’s words when her son was diagnosed.

"He walked into the room and said, ‘Your life is going to lead you down a different path starting today,’" she said.

Part of that new path is technology. A device Jonathan uses saves him 20 insulin shots over the course of three days. He said he has access to this high-tech gear because of people who’ve donated to JDRF.

As a local youth ambassador, Jonathan spends time connecting with Minnesota families, offering hope and understanding.

"Through his speaking events a lot of people have asked him questions about how to manage diabetes, it is a disease that is often misunderstood," Allison Engebretson said. "… I hope that people donate because our ultimate goal is for us to find a cure."

In the meantime, Jonathan says having Type 1 diabetes is "a bit like walking on a tightrope," but it can be done.

"It seems very daunting and very scary at the beginning, but not only does it get better, you can also live an entire life, a very full life, a very fun and normal life with Type 1 diabetes," he said.

This year’s JDRF One Walk will be virtual because of the pandemic. To join Team KSTP and donate click here.